I have a new base model Mini arriving tomorrow and plan to dedicate it solely as an iTunes server for my Apple TV and MacBook Air. My iTunes library is a little over 500gb and growing fast as I rip my large DVD collection in Handbrake. I have three identical 3tb USB3 external drives that clock around 160MB/s in the Blackmagic speed test, and will use one as the primary media drive and the other two as rotating backups with Carbon Copy Cloner. Everything is connected by gigabit ethernet, and my MBA uses the fast 802.11ac wifi when it's not on ethernet. I will be connecting the Mini to a little 15" HDMI monitor and wireless keyboard so it won't be "headless". So I'm pondering the best way to set this up…. am thinking about cloning the Mini internal drive (including the recovery partition) to the 3tb external drive and removing any stuff I don't need (like iLife, etc), then using the external as a boot drive. That would allow me to boot directly from both of my backup drives in the event of a failure. Does this make sense? I have read that the internal 500gb drive in the base model Mini isn't very fast, so I assume that the Mini would boot and load programs faster from the 160MB/s external. About how much space will a clone of the internal drive consume? Are there any reasons why this would be a bad idea? FWIW, these external drives (Seagate Backup Plus Desktop) can also be used with a Thunderbolt dock, but there is no speed advantage (I've tested them), so I plan to use USB3. Also, what kind of performance should I expect copying files over gigabit ethernet if I enable file sharing on the Mini? If file sharing is enabled, will it degrade iTunes sharing performance on the Mini? Would this work better if I install MacOSX server on the Mini? I don't need any of the other services that the server software offers, just the ability to copy files to the Mini over gigabit ethernet. Thanks in advance. I imagine I can figure this stuff out myself tomorrow, but would appreciate the experience of others while I wait for it to arrive.